Sandboarding and Sand Sledding

Boy Sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes

Sandboards and sand sleds that are specifically designed for sand provide the best sliding experience.

NPS/Patrick Myers

One-minute video introduction

Sandboarding and Sand Sledding at Great Sand Dunes

Learn to use the right gear and techniques in this fun 1-minute video with music on YouTube. National Park Service, 2013.

Girl Sandboarding on High Dune Summit

Girl sandboarding off High Dune

NPS/Patrick Myers

Sand sledding or sandboarding can be fun with the right gear and conditions. Below are tips for an enjoyable and safe sledding or sandboarding experience at Great Sand Dunes.

What Works

  • YES: Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design and slick bases; these work best for sliding in most conditions.
  • NO: Snow sleds, snowboards and skis only slide on wet sand after rain or snow. The sand is usually dry.
  • NO: Cardboard, rounded saucers, and soft plastic items do not slide on sand; they will dig into or drag on the sand.
  • NO: Rectangles of rigid plastic or masonite may slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.

When to Go

Plan your dunes time for early morning or evening during summer to avoid 150 degree F sand or thunderstorms. In spring and fall, sand temperatures are usually moderate throughout the day, but spring afternoons can be very windy.

Girl Sand Sledding

Sand sledding

NPS/Patrick Myers

Where to Go

Sandboarding, sledding, and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas. From the main visitor parking area, it's a minimum 0.7 mile (1km) hike to get to the small or medium-sized slopes; the top of the first big dune is 1.25 miles.

With high clearance 4WD vehicle, visitors may drive on the Medano Pass Primitive Road to the Castle Creek Picnic Area; there, a 300' tall slope is right across from the parking area.

Ranger and Kids with Sandboards

Sand sleds (first two sleds) have a padded seat and handles. The girl on the right holds a sandboard, with footstraps for standing.

NPS/Patrick Myers


Great Sand Dunes National Park does not rent sleds or sandboards; these may be rented or purchased at two retailers in the San Luis Valley.

Sandboards and sand sleds are available year-round for rent or purchase at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, 719-589-9759. (Kristi will not rent them when the sand is frozen during the coldest months, since frozen sand may break a board.)

From April - October, sandboards and sand sleds are available for rent at the Oasis Store just outside the park entrance. 719-378-2222.

Did You Know?